Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holiday Swap


We really stretched out Christmas this year, so much so that our 'Christmas' dinner at Mom Mom's house was actually on New Year's Eve, and much to Aunt Katherine's delight, we didn't actually open all our presents until New Year's day. This of course meant that we all spent the night at Mom Mom and Grandpa Don's to ring in the New Year. We had a Mexican feast inspired by the Fonda San Miguel cookbook (one of our favorite restaurants back in Austin), and Elaine and I whipped up some delicious flan the night we got back from Iowa to bring to the celebration. Katherine drove in from Ohio; Nancy, Danny and Christopher all joined us of course; and Aunt Jen bravely brought her boyfriend Aszur (sp?) to the party. We stayed up into the New Year playing a lively game of Cranium (don't worry, none of the videos will go online, particularly the Aunt Katherine and Aunt Jen's 'pin the tail on the donkey' puppet charade), and drinking more than a few Christmas Ales. New Year's day felt like Christmas morning, complete with stockings from Santa and lots of presents to open under the tree. All told, a great Christmas in Maryland.

(click here for the pictures)

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Seven Days of Iowa Christmas

Christmas tends to not be a discrete celebration for us, particularly when we go to Iowa. Our extensive extended family tends to have other familial obligations on the 25th and so the Yuletide is celebrated via a series of informal mini gatherings rather than one central feast. And while this wreaks havoc on poor Grandma Z's menu planning skills, it means that we get to see a lot of relatives in a relatively short amount of time.

Sure, Aunt Katherine shot Owen in the head with an arrow (a nerf arrow, mind you) and Nora got lost while wandering unsupervised through Aunt Helen and Uncle Ken's house. Yes, maybe it wasn't the best idea in the world for Grandpa Z to make Owen (and cousin Olivia) a real spear using Indian arrowheads (though at least Owen's new light saber distracted him). Ok, we probably shouldn't have bailed on Christmas Eve mass just because we couldn't actually see the mass. And yeah, it would have been nice for kids not to be innundated with caucus ads describing their hometown as a den of evil responsible for all that is wrong with the world.

But nobody lost an eye, we were able to meet three new baby cousins, Santa came, we played a lot of hide-and-go seek, ate a ton of goodies, stopped by the pond, and had a pretty amazing time.

And then we came back to DC and did the whole thing over again.

(Click here to see all the pics from our adventures in Iowa.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peabody for the Holidays


The weeks leading up to winter break are pretty packed with school related Holiday festivities. On Friday, I chaperoned Owen's class field trip to see the trains at the Botanic Gardens. We walked the mile from Owen's school to the Capitol, had a great time seeing all the trains and flowers, and hiked back with a stop at the Capitol Christmas Tree.

Wednesday was the last day of school, and also the day of Peabody Classroom 8's Holiday Program. Ms. Dorsey's class went above and beyond, and put on a program for all their parents and all the other Kindergarten classes to see, and hosted a delicious Holiday brunch. Owen had been working hard memorizing all the poems and songs, and the whole class did a great job. The video below has the entire show, but for those not up for the whole 8 minute program, click here to skip to the cute dance to 'Santa Clause is Coming to Town' (which also happens to be the part that would make me a felon and could put me behind bars for five years as a first time offender if SOPA passes, who knew Kindergarten, cameras and copyrighted music were such a dangerous combination.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nora's Daycare Holiday Program

It's been a couple years since we last went to a DOL daycare Holiday Program, so we were pretty excited to see Nora's first performance. She was a little upset that she couldn't find Mommy in the audience (not being able to find Daddy apparently didn't phase her), but Classroom 8's performance of 'We Wish You a Happy Holiday' and 'Light the Candle' was adorable none the less.

Friday, December 09, 2011

A Public Service Announcement

As the holidays are upon us and the season for online shopping and cross-country gift exchanges is here, you might find yourself suddenly overwhelmed with cardboard boxes. While ultimately these receptacles should be recycled or used for long-term storage, Owen and Nora have some more immediately gratifying uses that we thought we'd share. FYI, the spyglass has met with some technical difficulties and the jail/additional sleeping space might run you into trouble with protective services, but you really can't go wrong with the sword-shield combo or a puppet show stage. Enjoy!

(click here for all the box pictures)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Latest Addition

Cousin Molly recently got a job as a staff assistant for Congressman Bruce Braley and moved to DC this past Sunday. The timing was rather impeccable, since the Occupy DC protesters had just built a barn in McPherson Square on Saturday. The prospect of meeting new people while living rent-free in the great outdoors was tempting, but as the police dismantled the structure Sunday evening, Molly decided to take us up on our offer to crash on our couch until she finds a place (in exchange for unlimited babysitting). Needless to say, we're pretty psyched she's here.